Reclaiming Third World Feminism: Or Why Transnational Feminism Needs Third World Feminism

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Abstract
Third World and transnational feminisms have emerged in opposition to white second-wave feminists’ single-pronged analyses of gender oppression that elided Third World women’s multiple and complex oppressions in their various social locations. Consequently, these feminisms share two “Third World feminist” mandates: First, feminist analyses of Third World women’s oppression and resistance should be historically situated; and second, Third World women’s agency and voices should be respected. Despite these shared mandates, they have diverged in their proper domains of investigation, with transnational feminism concentrating on the transnational level and Third World feminism focusing on local and national contexts. Further, their respective positions regarding nation-states and nationalism have been antithetical, as leading transnational feminists have categorically rejected nation-states and nationalism as detrimental to feminism. In recent decades, transnational feminism has become the dominant feminist position on Third World women, overshadowing Third World feminism, and the dismissal of nation-states and nationalism as irrelevant to feminism has become fashionable. Against this current trend, this article argues for the relevance of nation-states and nationalism for transnational feminism and the urgency of reclaiming Third World feminism.
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Archival date: 2015-04-24
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